With our first batch of kids, I was more inclined to expose our children to countless sports, activities in the effort to make sure they were well rounded. This resulted in the many afternoon practices, games, mainly in the cool and wet Northwest. There is a reason the state of Washington is green. Our girls tried at least one season of every sport including Lacrosse, Softball, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, to name a few. Don't get me wrong, we have great memories of those times and we made great friends watching those games.
This go round however, I am much more relaxed in the area of extra curricular sports, not feeling the need for all that exposure. Our last child in particular had never participated in a team sport. In a moment of weakness, I asked her if she wanted to play Upward Basketball this winter. She enthusiastically responded that yes, she would love to play. Her personality is not the most competitive and this was fairly evident when she started turning cartwheels at her evaluation which is not the most coveted basketball skill. This was going to be a long season. As expected, she was fairly intimidated by the roughness of the game the first couple of games, especially since she is on the small size compared to the other players. I don't think she touched the basketball for the first 4 or 5 games and would always get the good sportsmanship award for not fouling! I've come to learn that fouling is a good thing in basketball. Despite this, she always had a great attitude as she went to practice week after week as well as the games.
This past week, as I was watching my optimistic daughter play, I noticed that she was getting rebounds and looked like she actually knew what she was doing. She was guarding and passing and even dribbling which is not the easiest thing to do when you are being chased by bigger, faster players. All of a sudden she found herself with the ball under the basket, took her shot and made her her first basket! The moment still makes me smile as I think of her happy, proud self running down the court with an extra spring in her step.